How unusually warm weather patterns impact commercial winter gritting
The summer of 2022 will be remembered as having hot and dry weather, in which temperatures in the UK reached a record-breaking 40.3C at the peak of the heatwave. These hot temperatures are becoming more common and often trick us into presuming that the winter will be mild, without any need for winter gritting services.
Our weather has become of the most changeable on the planet and as our climate continues to constantly change, we need to prepare ourselves for predictable unpredictability. According to a new study, carried out by an international team of scientists including the University of Sheffield, they have found that warming in the Arctic may be intensifying the effects of the jet stream’s position, which in the winter can cause extreme cold weather. Extreme weather events such as heatwaves, heavy rain and snow storms could become more frequent, which has many scientists concerned.
The UK has the some of the most notoriously unpredictable weather on the planet, but it is also one of the things that makes our local climate so unique. It is perfectly possible to experience all four seasons in one day, and we never know what the weather will be like from one minute to the next. Read our blog on understanding UK weather systems.
“Improving our ability to predict how climate change is affecting the jet stream will help to improve our long-term prediction of winter weather in some of the most highly populated regions of the world.” Professor Edward Hanna, Sheffield University.
Are freezing temperatures a thing of the past?
2022 was the warmest year since 1884, with recorded temperatures above 40°C for the first time. Scientists said that would have been “virtually impossible without climate change”. With heatwaves becoming more frequent, conversely the UK also gets on average 23.7 days of snowfall or sleet a year. While it’s true that the global climate is warming, this does not simply translate into a scenario where winter gritting and snow-clearing services are dispensed with. Fundamentally, the UK temperature still falls below freezing and we commonly experience prolonged snowfall. Read how heatwaves impact snow and winter gritting.
Unpredictable winter weather impacts budgets and commercial winter gritting decisions
Anticipating what the weather will be isn’t a case of watching the television forecast – it is far more sophisticated. As the winter gritting specialists, OUTCO employs smart technology to monitor and track weather patterns in real-time, analysing large amounts of accurate weather data at our fingertips which ensures ensure high-level temperature accuracy. Armed with this data we can identify trends that allow us to better inform and guide our clients as to when and which winter services are best for them.
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